Monday, 16 February 2009

Green Bean and Fennel Salad

When we visited the Good Food and Wine Show, we stopped off at the Show Restaurant for lunch and I had Alastair McLeod's Roasted Flinders Island lamb with green bean and fennel salad, and a tomato and chilli jam. I really enjoyed the dish, I thought the flavours went so well together so I tried to find a recipe that would let me recreate the green bean and fennel salad at home.

It was surprisingly difficult, because most of the recipes had more ingredients than the fennel, beans and parmesan I remembered. The ones that didn't tended towards a lemony dressing when I remembered a more balsamic flavour.

I ended up finding one similar recipe (only one!) on Epicurious. I left out the mushrooms, parsley, chives and lemon peel and it was awesome!

The lemony balsamic dressing is a perfect match for the aniseed flavour of the fennel, the sweetness of the beans and the sharpness of the parmesan. Now I need to find a nice tomato and chilli jam recipe so I can recreate the rest of the meal.

Green Bean and Fennel Salad
adapted from Bon Appétit (April 1998) as posted on Epicurious

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons water
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
shaved parmesan, to serve

Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook green beans in large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl of ice water. Drain beans. Pat dry. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill dressing. Wrap green beans in paper towels and chill.)

Place beans in large bowl and add fennel and parmesan. Drizzle dressing over; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Toss again and serve.

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